Wednesday, June 27, 2007


ca·pac·i·ty [kuh-pas-i-tee]
noun, plural -ties, adjective–noun

1. the ability to receive or contain...
3. power of receiving impressions, knowledge, etc.; mental ability
4. actual or potential ability to perform, yield, or withstand

Mine is growing this week. It's both slightly overwhelming and immensely rewarding to see all that needs done this week and know that it's going to get done. I'm grateful.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Simply stunning. I like that there is beauty even in advertising.

The song is Jose Gonzalez's "Hearbeats," if you're interested. I saw this video at a conference and proceeded to buy the entire album.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


A friend texted me a couple weeks ago on a Saturday morning, saying, "I want to give you a bunch of yarn. Can I bring it tomorrow?" That inspired me to head straight to Michaels to buy more yarn. It's like a disease. What you see above is a blanket (the fruit of Michaels, almost done now) and flowers that will become a scarf.

I haven't been crocheting much lately, but I'm all the more thankful for the creative outlet it provides when I am able to find some time to do so. It's funny... who would have thought that a centuries old craft would unlock my 21st century creative streak?

I took the Strong Interest Inventory, a commonly-used "test" to help people choose careers, in grad school last week, and my primary interest type was "Artistic*." I smile as I type that, because I'd never been able to own my creative side. Until now.

*In case you're wondering, my other two types were "Social" and "Enterprising," types I've been owning all too well for years.

My Life Without Me

What a beautiful film. I'm not sure how I missed it when it was released in theaters... I suppose 2003 was a busy year? (Though I recall seeing a lot of particularly bad films first-run that year. I guess the company I was keeping that year was more of the big studio type.)

It seems counterintuitive that a film about a 23-year-old mother of two dying would be uplifting. But what beautiful characters, what sincere emotion. I accidentally typed "emothion" first, which is undoubtedly my subconscious reminding me to mention the other reason I loved this movie---its Spanish roots. Pedro Almodovar was involved, and the director is Spanish, as well. A major perk of watching the "making of" featurette... escuchando un poco de español.

And to think... I put this little gem in my queue solely because it featured Scott Speedman, of Felicity-hottie fame. I'm glad my guilty-teen-drama pleasure has resulted in my gaining genuine indie-cred points... and in truly being touched.

Monday, June 11, 2007

One Vote '08

My good friend produced this amazing video. Go to NOW and help save millions of people whose lives are being lost to poverty that could be eradicated by the dedication of just 1% of the U.S. budget.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Friday really felt like one of the first days of summer... 80s, the first holiday weekend, a night when I could walk 30 blocks uptown to see a friend rather than ride the subway. You know those times when you think, "This is beautiful. I should take a photograph."? A camera phone lends itself well to pausing in those moments. I'm glad I did.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Why is it that I get inspired to crochet as the weather warms? Perhaps it's something about the rebirth of spring inspiring creativity. Whatever the case, the advent of warm weather has led me to start work on a very warm blanket. I was initially inspired by all the rippling happening on CrochetMe and other sites.

The intent of that whole endeavor was to clean out one's yarn stash. I bought a bunch of yarn. Oops. But I love it. It's Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Chunky (read "washable") and in all the colors I've been wanting to use for a blanket.

It's wider than I intended, as wide as a double bed (on which it is pictured, as have been many of my crochet projects). But that's OK... it will end up taking me 14 balls of yarn when I'm all done, and should be amazingly warm.. perfect for snuggling under once the weather turns cool again. For now, I'll enjoy the fact that it's just a little too warm on my lap as I work on it.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Yarn Reigns Supreme in NYC tonight

Why am I always the last to know? I can't go to this, but wish I could. I would definitely find a sweater to unravel.

Knit Night - Museum of Arts & Design

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


How incredible is this... it's a service that gets through the "phone trees" you encounter when you call customer service. ("I'm sorry. I didn't quite understand you. Please say that again.")

Bringo... no more wishing evil things would happen to the people who designed phone trees

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I suppose posting two-month-old handwritten journal entries doesn't fully capture the spirit of blogging, but I wanted to post this here nonetheless. It was meaningful to me, and I hope it might be to others. I wrote this while on a bus crossing through rural, poor areas of the Dominican Republic while on vacation in March of this year.

I wonder what it says about the condition of this country that the UNICEF-like ads of a foundation, and the signs identifying towns throughout the campo, bear the name of a rum company. Our guide today said that the campesinos are happy with their lives—that they choose to live this way, the state has given them their land. And while it’s true what he said—that the people aren’t skinny, don’t look malnourished, even in this place where the children run naked and the dogs sleep in the streets—there is something empty, vacant in their eyes. I wonder if it’s the space where hope should dwell… those aspirations of "What I want to be when I grow up" and "oh, the places you will go."

Empty Presidente beer bottles line the now-deserted stand of bananas and coconuts as the sun drops slowly behind the Cordillera Occidental. What are the lingering effects of the Trujillismo [the 30-year dictator’s regime—a dictator put into place by the U.S.], the conquests, the coups... the rum? The last thing this country, or any, needs is the judgmental gaze of an American who doesn’t understand its complexities, and I’m well aware that the sings I see here can’t fully be seen through my eyes--"los ojos de una extranjera."

But my spirit feels something that I can’t help but notice and don’t know what to do with. As an American, it’s impossible not to feel complicit, selfish, "part of the problem" when traveling abroad. I guess it is possible, though not for me, and millions of Americans do it every day, which is why I end up feeling like such a jerk.

So, what to do? Tip well, contribute to the economy through the purchase of my watered down piña coladas, and pray? It doesn’t feel enough, and it’s not, but I’m not sure what else to do—besides listen, see, try to understand. And I believe those three are significant. How would it change the world if judgment was replaced with understanding, a desire to help (if not actually the action that does so?) ...

Sunday, May 13, 2007


I actually have been crocheting during my blogging hiatus, a bit at least. Thanks to the 40 inches of snow that fell on Denver this Christmas, I managed to start and finish a sweater out of Debbie Stoller's Happy Hooker book. It's done in Knit Picks' Andean Silk.

I had to restart at some point, as I was working the fitted part too tightly—and still managed to wear it on the flight home. Long holiday. Lots of airport time.

Charity is...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My own hidden island

If anyone read my blog, they would be asking, "Where has she been all this time?" Ironically, I've been busy with work, where I have been spending a great deal of time researching technology and creating new blogs. Go figure.

In order to keep my tech skills savvy, my writing active, and in wild hopes that I'll accomplish something crochet- (i.e. "relaxation-") related, I decided to just go ahead and post lovely random little things up here more often. Even if I'm just using clever Web 2.0 tools to borrow things that are already online.

Here's one. Come 2010, I'll be looking for a new favorite TV show.

Monday, May 07, 2007


This is a post I started just after I returned from the D.R. in March. I never quite finished it, and my Trujillo interest has waned as other interests have reared their ugly heads, but I still find him fascinating and horrible, enough so that I want to include the slightly outdated post here.

My new obsession? Forget crochet, Alias, or even New York.

I'm currently devoting my spare time and intellectual energy to learning about Rafael Leónidas Trujillo, the man who reigned as dictator of the Dominican Republic from 1930-1961. This was a post-vacation intellectual pursuit. I am very fascinated by the fact that the U.S. government both put this person into power and had him assassinated. What a horrible legacy our country has left in this beautiful nation.

I cannot and will not do justice to telling the full story here, I suggest Vargas Llosa's The Feast of the Goat. A truly extraordinary novel, the inspiration for the bulk of my obsession. There is a film, also, but I have not had success finding it in the States.

To me, the most interesting part of the Trujillo legacy is that there seem to be Dominicans who miss his reign, which was marked by terror, rampant killings, and complete oppression. It was also characterized by a great time of order and prosperity. The decades that have followed Trujillo's CIA-supported execution have been politically unstable to say the least. I won't claim to fully understand the political situation surrounding these events, but mightn't the U.S. have done more? Might we not have worked harder to abolish poverty in this nation, rather than just sending tourists? Might we do more yet today?

Friday, March 16, 2007

The value of culture shock

I just returned from a five-day vacation to the Dominican Republic. Though my time there was largely focused around sitting on a beach, I tried to experience as much of the culture as I could from my walled compound under the constraints of a woman traveling alone.

Now, back in New York, I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have been "abroad," even if that foreign country was somewhere as near as a tropical island a four-hour flight from my hometown. For the last week, I was a stranger in a strange land, which in me, elicits an openness, a trust of people, and a desire to understand (probably in order to be understood). It's a disposition very different from that of the typical New Yorker; we're taught here to move quickly and pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist.

As I re-entered the fray today, I felt myself a little more willing to trust my fellow riders on the subway—to imagine the stories of their lives and families, rather wonder, suspiciously, if they might harm me. It's a good feeling, one I fear will fade quickly as I work my way back into the city, but something I hope sticks around.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Speaking of rest...

My guilty obsession of the past two weeks has been watching old episodes of Felicity on DVD. It's all new to me—though I was most certainly in the target demographic when this show was on the air, I lived deep in the heart of the Midwest, a place that had yet to get that phenomenon called the WB (may it rest in peace).

It's so good. Like, good. I think my appreciation for it has more than a little bit to do with the fact that I feel like I'm reliving college by watching it (which, 10 years since I was in Felcity's little freshman shoes, is blissfully nostalgic), but all-around, another J.J. Abrams creation has found its way into my heart (and Netflix queue).

Vacation-related inspiration

I'd totally forgotten that I even have a blog until a couple weeks ago when a friend stumbled across it and said something to me. The end of blogging coincided with the beginning of my new lease, which came equipped with a longer commute and two roommates. I'm housesitting, in Manhattan, this weekend for friends who are on vacation. With a few days to myself, I'm remembering what it was like to have time to write. So, I thought I'd go ahead and give it a try. I've done plenty of writing in the last few months, but it's time to devote some energy to the stuff for which I'm not getting paid.

I leave a week from today for my own little vacation, to the Dominican Republic. It just struck me tonight. I'm going on vacation. I need to do things like buy novels to read and make sure I can locate my swimsuits. The last few months have been so busy that it's hard to get my brain to even think about slowing down.

But it feels good. Really good. Surprisingly good. If the anticipation is this enjoyable, I have high hopes for the trip itself. I'm grateful... for this little revelation, for a weekend on My Island, and for the rest to come.